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Holy Saturday



St John 19: 38-42

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.  Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.  Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. 

Reflection- The Secret Disciples

When we think of the disciples of Jesus we usually think of the twelve, but in truth there were other followers who believed in him. Joseph of Arimathea is referred to as a ‘secret’ disciple of Jesus, because of his fear of the Jews; likewise Nicodemus, a Pharisee who appears earlier in St John’s Gospel when he came to debate with Jesus under cover of darkness. Now these two men break cover, as it were, anxious to give the body of Jesus a decent burial in accordance with Jewish custom. Pilate, perhaps with some relief, agrees to release the body and, conveniently there is a new and unoccupied tomb nearby. There is also some urgency in the matter as the Sabbath is fast approaching. This allowed at least for a temporary resting place, though little did Joseph or Nicodemus know how temporary it would be!


Lord support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the fever of life is over and our work done; then Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. (John Henry Newman)

Hymn: Were you there when they crucified my Lord (CH4 403)



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